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Space debris a danger to humanity and the future of the planet?  Scholars' bell

Space debris a danger to humanity and the future of the planet? Scholars’ bell

According to some specialists, I space debris They represent a danger to the human race and to the future of the planet. Space debris continues to increase despite efforts to contain it: on average, 12 accidental events occur in orbit that generate new fragments and this trend is increasing, so much so that collisions with satellites will soon become the number one source of debris. This is what emerged from the latest annual report on the space environment prepared by the European Space Agency (ESA). “Currently the main source of space debris is explosions in orbit due to fuel and batteries left on board vehicles and rockets,” explains Holger Kraj, head of the Space Security Program at the European Space Agency.

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«Despite the preventive measures taken over the years, there is no decrease in the number of these events. The trend towards disposal at the end of the mission is improving, but slowly». According to the ESA report, the rockets launched in the last decade have adapted debris reduction measures by 60-80% (in terms of mass). In particular, about 30% of the missiles launched in the past three years were returned to Earth in a controlled manner.

As for the satellites placed in low Earth orbit, 15-30% tried to take action against debris, but only 5-20% hit the target. More than 85% of the satellites placed in geostationary orbit in the past decade, tried to adapt to the rules, and succeeded in 60-90% of cases. Even small satellites and their constellations continue to multiply, but most of these objects should have a “clean” end of life, because the low altitude will naturally self-destruct in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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